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News | June 7, 2017

MDL Airmen provide logistical support for operations overseas

By Airman 1st Class Zachary Martyn Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst Public Affairs

Airmen of the 305th Aerial Port Squadron enable the mission essential function of logistical support for servicemembers and their families throughout the world.

The port is accountable for the careful packaging and handling of cargo consisting of furniture, base building supplies, weapons, aircraft parts and even entire vehicles. The 305th APS plays a large role in enabling U.S. military presence around the world.

The warehouse section of the 305th APS is the central point for incoming and outgoing goods at the Joint Base. It is the responsibility of the warehouse ‘Port Dawgs’ to facilitate the safe transportation of this cargo.

“This is a staging area for supplies we send to warfighters overseas,” said Senior Airman John Garrett, 305th APS cargo processor. “We’re the focal point of getting cargo downrange; it has allowed the Airmen in this shop to make a positive impact on the life of deployed servicemembers.”

Although the Airmen working in the warehouse don’t typically load the cargo into the plane, one of their primary functions is to ensure that cargo is safely loaded onto a pallet with careful consideration of weight distribution and potential shifting of cargo, enabling easier and faster transportation.

“These guys have a lot of attention to detail and they take great pride in their work,” said Master Sgt. Zachary Davis, 305th APS cargo processing section chief. “It is very important for us to know we’re handling people’s lives and we cannot afford to be unsafe.”

Typically, the supplies prepared by the Airmen in the warehouse that are sent overseas make a stop at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, before being transported to their final destination in the far-reaches of the world.

“Although our aircraft typically don’t fly cargo directly to Central Command bases anymore, we still supply European Command with the equipment our deployed servicemembers need in order to get into and maintain the fight,” said Davis. “However, we still supply cargo directly to Africa Command, a lot of the base building supplies AFRICOM uses come directly from this port.”

Without the service the Airmen tucked away in the warehouse provide, many missions requiring logistical support simply would not be possible and global U.S. military presence would be damaged.

“So that’s our real challenge – making sure that the day-in-day-out job, which can be very monotonous, is still done with purpose and excellence, because it’s important,” said Davis. “The tip of the spear doesn’t go anywhere without the staff it is connected to – we help provide our warfighters the logistical support they need to get the mission done.”

Editor's note: The original story can be viewed on the Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst website.